Pumpkingames, local food, live music and more in Ashfield
37th annual Ashfield Fall Festival takes place on Columbus Day weekend
Whether you are partial to products that feature those icons of fall—apples and pumpkins, or simply enjoy the pleasures of a small town fair, the Ashfield Fall Festival, which takes place from 10am-5pm on October 6th & 7th in the town center (Main Street/Rte.116) offers something for everyone.
Each year, thousands of people tour over 50 arts and craft exhibits, eat at a score of food booths, listen to talented local musicians, and catch up with old friends. The festival is family friendly, with many free or low-cost children’s games and activities.
Exhibitors include jewelers, wood workers, glass blowers, potters, yarn and fabric artists, basket makers, metalworkers, leather workers, instrument makers, furniture makers, photographers and painters.
A diverse assortment of food from the sweet (think fresh hot pumpkin donuts, fried dough with maple cream, homemade fudge, blueberry cobbler, caramel apples, hot applesauce sundaes and apple pie) to the savory (think belly-warming soups and chili, baked potatoes, crawfish pasta, macaroni and cheese, kielbasa grinders and other sandwiches) will be available from vendors throughout the festival area.
The Pumpkingames, unique to this festival, will start at noon Saturday, Oct. 6. Teams of volunteer participants are recruited on the spot to race against each other in games that use pumpkins as props.
Tag sales, including “Mike’s World Famous Incredibly Huge 12th Annual Community Tag Sale” will be held both days, and bargain hunters and book lovers alike will enjoy several book sales, such as the one sponsored by the Friends of the Belding Memorial Library.
The 2007 musical entertainment line up, with sponsorship support from Greenfield Savings Bank, is as follows:
Saturday, Oct. 6
- 11 a.m., Lui Collins. This Ashfield resident is an internationally recognized recording artist and is teacher/director of Hilltown Music Together and Kids’ Jam. “New England’s finest singer/songwriter,” Dirty Linen magazine, 2006
- 1 p.m., Illiterati. Classics from the modern jazz repertoire, with a little bossa nova. Featuring Les Patlove, Stefan Kostka, Levi Owens, Judy Williams, Tom Ulrich and Tony Williams.
- 2:15 p.m., Radio Free Earth. This eclectic, rootsy band, led by Josh and Kim Wachtel, plays “crossover” music that mines the world’s songbook. With Jordan Russ and Ian Koss.
- 3:30 p.m., Morris dancers. Morris dancers have performed at the festival for over 20 years. This year’s performance features Valley groups Juggler Meadow Morris Men, the Rapscallions and Wake Robin. They will be joined by dancers from all over New England and Canada.
Sunday, Oct. 7
- 11 a.m., Reincarnation. A jazz ensemble featuring Dia Silverstein, Rick Tutunjian, Jason Schwartz, Bill Chapman and Joe Green.
- Noon, James Delnero and Lost Mountain, a bluegrass bonanza.
- 1:15 p.m., Manfred Gabriel. An hour of Celtic whistles and flutes.
- 2:30 p.m., Zoë Darrow and the Fiddleheads. Darrow, an 18-year-old who performs traditional Irish, Scottish and Cape Breton fiddle tunes, recently released her second CD, “Fiddle Me This.”
- 3:45 p.m., North Country Line Dancers. Led by Pat Barschenski, this troupe comes fresh from four performances at the Big E.
A full list of exhibitors and activities will be available at the festival’s information booth in a program provided by the Ashfield News.
Ashfield Fall Festival hours are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days. Admission is free. Parking is available in lots east of the town center on Route 116. No dogs please. For more information: AshfieldFallFestival@gmail.com.